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Tributes paid to outgoing councillors

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TRIBUTES have been paid to a “dedicated and hard working” group of former councillors who gave over 300 years’ combined service to Copeland.

Twenty-six councillors left Copeland Borough Council following the May 2 elections, and all were invited to a gathering at the council this week to thank them for their service.

The outgoing group includes former mayors, council and committee chairs, political group leaders, Executive members and council champions. Four have completed over 30 years’ service; Allan Holliday, Peter Connolly, Graham Sunderland and Yvonne Clarkson.

Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, said: “Those leaving Copeland Council have given fantastic service over the years.

"Many have given a lifetime’s commitment, and they have contributed so much over a significant period of time. We were delighted to be able to invite them back to publicly thank them for this service.”

Pat Graham, Copeland Council’s Chief Executive, added: “I have tremendous personal respect for anyone who stands up on behalf of their community to make a difference. It takes guts to be part of the solution.

"We have been very lucky to have had the councillors we have had, and those who are leaving us should look back on their time at Copeland with a real sense of achievement.”

Further tributes to the outgoing councillors were paid by Councillors Mike McVeigh and David Moore, Leaders of the Labour and Conservative Groups respectively.

Those gathered also took the opportunity to remember former colleagues who passed away during the previous council term; Councillors John Bowman and Ray Cole, and Aldermen Ossie Coyles, Bill Southward, Marjorie Higham and Jim Close.